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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 82-86

Qat-induced intestinal obstruction: A case series of a new entity

Department of Surgery, Yemeni-Egyptian Hospital, Sanaa, Yemen; Department of General, Visceral, and Thoracic Surgery, Klinikum Darmstadt, Darmstadt, Germany

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Mhd Firas Safadi
Department of General, Visceral, and Thoracic Surgery, Klinikum Darmstadt, Grafenstraße 9, 64293 Darmstadt

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ajm.AJM_198_17

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Background: Qat-induced intestinal obstruction is an acute manifestation of qat chewing which was not described previously in the literature. The aim of this case series is to describe the clinical presentation, the diagnostic and therapeutic measures, and the course of the disease. Methods: This retrospective case series included all patients who presented with qat-induced intestinal obstruction between July 1, 2013, and December 31, 2015. Results: The study included seven patients (five males and two females). The mean age was 41.4 years (22–60 years). All patients presented after 8–12 h of prolonged qat chewing with abdominal pain, severe abdominal distension, and inability to pass stool. Laboratory results were normal apart from slight leukocytosis (<15 × 109/L) in three patients. All patients showed air–fluid levels on the erect abdominal X-ray. The management included intravenous fluids and symptomatic therapy. The symptoms resolved in 1–2 days and the follow-up after 1 week showed no residual complaints. Conclusions: Qat-induced intestinal obstruction is associated with the heavy and prolonged consumption of qat. The presentation mimics acute intestinal obstruction, but the course is benign. Spontaneous resolution with supportive inpatient treatment is the rule.

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